Miami’s foodies fill their calendars with Miami Spice weekend dinners, but some forget that Spice can be twice as nice when you take advantage of lunch menus too. Not all participating restaurants offer Spice at lunchtime, so we’ve done the leg work by finding the best menus from those who do (in no particular order). Spice up your lunch routine and enjoy $23 three-course lunches from now until the end of September.
1. Toro Toro
Toro Toro has a seriously impressive lunch menu for this year’s Miami Spice. You’ll start by hitting the buffet table (yes, buffet!), where you’ll get to pick up tasty appetizers including shrimp cocktail, avocado salad, ceviche of the day, carved meats, and more. Follow it up with the chef’s daily selection (check the menu for what’s available each day of the week), then end with their signature tres leches or crema catalana. FYI, they do it differently on Saturdays when a taco bar is what’s for lunch, with option to add their La Bomba chocolate sphere dessert for $5 extra.
100 Chopin Plaza, Downtown Miami; 305-372-4710
For a Spice lunch that leaves you feeling great, you’ll definitely want to drop by Sunny’s on Collins Ave. The sicilian rice balls with lemon aioli are unbelievably satisfying, but reading the menu, you can’t blame anyone for being tempted by the aloha tacos or compressed melon caprese salad. Also on the Miami Spice lunch docket are either a poke bowl with puffed rice or a burger: the smokehouse with applewood bacon for some, the pulp fiction veggie with cilantro cream for the rest. But really, it’s the, churros with nutella or a dreamsicle in a jar that will change your life for the better.
1500 Collins Avenue, South Beach; 305-531-3935
Come hungry to Hakkasan’s Miami Spice lunch because you’re guaranteed to get your fill of some of the best dim sum in South Florida. Among the appetizers, you’ll find a black rice vegetable dumpling, mushroom chicken shumai, and a spinach scallops dumpling. It only gets better when your entree arrives: jasmine tea-smoked chicken, stir-fried baby bok choi, plus beef fried rice with ginger. Dessert (homemade macarons or a mango custard) is kept light since you probably won’t have much room for it.
4441 Collins Avenue (Inside the Fontainbleau), Miami Beach; 786-276-1388
4. Yardbird Southern Table
Yardbird (pictured at top) keeps things simple for Miami Spice, but that’s certainly not a bad thing, especially if you’re pressed for time. Try the deviled eggs or a fried green tomato BLT for your appetizer, then move onto the Blue Plate Special: two pieces of fried chicken, plus spiced watermelon and a buttermilk biscuit. And before you rush back off to work, you’ll want to indulge in your deep-fried oreo (complete with oreo ice cream) or beignets with nutella that will transport you to New Orleans at first bite. PS: Coffee and tea are included!
1600 Lenox Avenue, South Beach; 305-538-5220
Located inside the Epic Hotel, Zuma is a modern Japanese restaurant that’s a steal during Miami Spice lunch. Every meal begins with a white miso soup and mixed leaf salad, then sashays into a selection of main dishes. Pick from pork katsu, roasted mahi, a sashimi selection, or vegetable donburi–all dishes specially prepared for the two-month event. Round out the meal with matcha tres leches or chocolate pot de creme for a rich ending to your meal.
270 Biscayne Boulevard Way, Downtown Miami; 305-577-0277
6. La Mar by Gaston Acurio
You won’t find a better view for lunch than at La Mar, and it will never look better than with their current Miami Spice lunch menu. You’ll be treated to a Peruvian-style appetizer trio including a small causa and a ceviche criollo with fresh catch of the day. Once your appetite is truly opened, you’ll choose either the light quinoa solterito with queso fresco or the tallarin a la huancaina with tenderloin. And if you’re not sure which dessert to try, I’d bet on the maracuya cheesecake because passionfruit should be included in every meal.
500 Brickell Key Drive (Inside the Mandarin Oriental), Brickell; 305-913-8358
7. RedLander Restaurant at Schnebly Winery
If you happen to find yourself way down south, Chef Dewey LoSasso’s fairly new RedLander at Schnebly Winery is the place to enjoy a good Miami Spice lunch. Spiced up guava wings or a combo of ceviche and mango slaw kick things off. For the main course, definitely go with the snapper and yucca sandwich. The lychee panna cotta might do wonders for some come dessert time, but it’s the chocolate and spelt grain bread sandwich with sea salt hot pepper dulce de leche ice cream that’s really got my attention.
30205 SW 217th Avenue, Homestead; 305-242-1224
Komodo’s lunch menu for Miami Spice is made up of dishes that will keep you content all afternoon. They remind you to eat your greens, offering a salad appetizer (komodo chicken, calamari, or hearts of palm), then offer you dishes like sweet soy salmon and the Vietnamese-inspired lemongrass pork bahn mi. Opt for either the wokked bok choy or five-vegetable fried rice to accompany the meal, then try one of several sorbet options to finish your meal.
801 Brickell Avenue, Brickell; 305-534-2211
9. Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant & Wine Bar
Chef Adrianne Calvo keeps Miami Spice alive in Kendall, and she certainly isn’t afraid to pull out all the stops for lunch. Blue fin tuna tartare and veal and prosciutto meatballs are sure to set the mood right from the start. They’ve got filet mignon tips au poivre plus a braised free-range chicken, among other rotating, mouthwatering delights for the main course. And most folks won’t think twice before diving into the dark chocolate and nutella croissant bread pudding, served with vanilla ice cream–a Chef Adrianne’s specialty.
11510 SW 147th Avenue, Kendall; 305-408-8388
10. Peacock Garden Cafe
Grovites will be happy to learn Peacock Garden Cafe has an excellent lunch menu for Spice this year. Have a shot of chilled gazpacho, followed by a crab cake or tuna tartare. Next, you’ll nosh on a spicy shrimp risotto, grilled skirt steak, organic chicken breast or seared salmon. Each of these comes with a vegetable accompaniment because they know you’ve got to eat your veggies. Close out lunch with desserts that might seem simple but are anything but: a housemade key lime pie that’s equal parts sweet and tangy, or a guava and cream cheese bread pudding that really needs no further description.
2889 McFarlane Road, Coconut Grove; 305-774-3332
Maximum Flavor Essentials